Title:
Double-O Kneepad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A kneepad that is attached to the exterior of the work pants, which can be either long or short, by the use of two attaching devices. The first device will be a horizontal strap which encircles the leg below the knee to prevent lateral and vertical shifting of the kneepad. The second device will attach the top of the kneepad directly to the pants to allow the said horizontal strap in the first device minimal tension to the leg which will greatly diminish poor blood circulation and discomfort. The attaching system which attaches the kneepad to work pants or shorts will allow for secure attachment, which can also be easily detached by the user. This attaching system will also be effective when exposed to fine particles and sediments, such as dust, which can reduce the performance in previous kneepads that use hook and loop fastening systems.



Inventors:
Oh, Moo Whan (Tarzana, CA, US)
Oh, Sekahng (Tarzana, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/306603
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
01/04/2006
Assignee:
Oh, Moo Whan (Tarzana, CA, US)
Oh, Sekahng (Tarzana, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SEKAHNG OH (TARZANA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A kneepad system for cushioning of the knee of a person wearing any pair of elongated or short pants comprising: a pair of protective pads having a convex exterior and a concave interior, two lateral sides substantially longer than the two vertical sides, each lateral side having an elastic strap at the base of said pad, each strap having but not limited to a buckle for means of attaching each strap together around the person's calf, and each pad made of resilient foam material which may include a protective shell placed on the convex exterior; a vertical elastic strap at the top of the exterior of said pad, said vertical strap having but not limited to a triangular loop at the end of said vertical strap; a tack button which will be placed at a location on the leg of a pair of pants selected by person's preference; said triangular loop to be attached to said tack button for means of attachment.

2. The kneepad of claim 1 wherein the attachments that secure kneepads to pants are comprised of two mechanisms.

3. The kneepad of claim 2 wherein the first mechanism attaches the top of the kneepad directly to the pants.

4. The kneepad of claim 2 wherein the second mechanism restrains the kneepad from lateral or vertical movement and also holds the basic position of the pad.

5. The kneepad of claim 3 wherein the first mechanism can use any attachment type including but not limited to: buckle, clip, hook and loop fastening system, or snap buttons.

6. The kneepad of claim 4 wherein the second mechanism is an elastic band located on opposite sides of the base of the kneepad that wraps around the back of the lower leg using any attachment type including but not limited to: buckle, clip, hook and loop fastening system, or snap buttons.

7. The kneepad of claim 3 wherein the first mechanism is adjustable and can be elongated or shortened.

8. The kneepad of claim 4 wherein the second mechanism is adjustable and can be elongated or shortened.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

891,533June, 1908Gibbs2/24
1,055,040March, 1913Herron Et al2/24
1,404,723January, 1922Swope2/24
3,168,746February, 1965Smith2/24; 2/23
3,346,877October, 1967Zirves2/24
5,920,902July, 1999Crampton2/24; 2/23
6,317,888November, 2001McFarlale2/24
6,347,403February, 2002Wilcox2/24; 2/23
6,421,839July, 2002Vo Et al2/24
6,704,938March, 2004Crockett2/24; 2/23

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Kneepads protect and comfort people who use their knees to support certain actions such as skating, dancing, painting, and in particular, construction work. Workers in the construction industry often kneel and crawl on hard surfaces throughout the working day. Many of the kneepads out in the market today have various attachment devices, but none provide lasting comfort and protection for a prolonged period of time without constant readjusting. The use of kneepads in the prior art is as follows:

U.S. Pat. No. 1,404,723 granted to Swope describes the use of an attachment device that is solely dependent upon elastic bands or straps that encircle the wearer's legs around the knees as a means of attachment. Kneepads of this sort, however, require the wearer to constantly re-adjust the kneepads as soon as the elastic bands or straps become loose, which cause the pads to fall down to the shins. Furthermore, if one desires to secure the kneepad in the same position, he or she must tighten the straps, which constricts the body's blood flow and causes great discomfort.

Then, other versions of this invention came into being to resolve this problem. One way to do away with the elastic bands and straps was to attach kneepads directly onto the workpants of construction workers, but this idea, too, has some deficiencies. U.S. Pat. No. 3,168,746 granted to Smith and U.S. Pat. No. 6,421,839 granted to Vo et al disclose attachment devices such that the kneepads are stitched into the legs of people's workpants, and have pockets sewn onto the legs of people's workpants in which pads would be inserted. Both these respective devices minimize the problems of the elastic bands or straps slipping from position without constricting blood circulation, however, the stitched padding and sewn-in pockets introduce the problem of easy wear and tear. After prolonged use of these kneepads, the unprotected pockets quickly wear thin and after several times of washing and drying, the padding usually takes different form and shape inside the pants which may cause even more discomfort to the wearer. The stitched padding and sewn-in pockets also fail to satisfy many different body types as the pants are generally manufactured from patterns outlining the average person's height and weight.

The problems of wear and tear, and non-fitting workpants with stitched padding or sewn-in pockets have also been addressed in several other inventions, some of which have not yet been granted patents, but are pending. In U.S. Pub. No. 2004/0221353 A1 assigned to Kennard and U.S. Pub. No. 2005/0268370 A1 assigned to Frieler et al, the inventions disclosed involve attachment devices that allow kneepads to fasten themselves to the knees with a hoop and loop fastening system (i.e. a product of the Velcro™ trademark), which attaches the back of kneepads to the pants creating the two pieces to stick. These kneepads that fasten themselves to workpants by the hook and loop fastening system, however, cannot provide lasting sticking action in events when fine particles and sediments, such as dust, fill the hook and loop patches; this common occurrence in the construction work-site reduces the dependability of the hook and loop system dramatically. The use of the hook and loop system also limits workers to wear only long pants as the attachment device requires a large surface area usually covering the space from above and below the knee in order to apply the patches.

Lastly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,421,839 granted to Vo et al, U.S. Pat. No. 6,347,403 granted to Wilcox, and U.S. Pat. No. 891,533 granted to Gibbs seem to take on similar characteristics to the newly proposed invention. These inventions allow the kneepads to be free of straps, easily detachable from workpants, and secure its position in any working condition; however, each still has its deficiencies, which the newly proposed invention shall prevail over. The Vo et al '839 patent has an attaching device using a button and strap which attach the top of the pad directly to the pants; this kneepad, however, is placed inside a pocket, which will, as mentioned earlier, wear and tear overtime making the whole system a weak one. The Wilcox '403 patent provides buttons that attach to both the inside and outside of the pant's seams; however, this system does not allow for the pad to be adjusted, or change position, once it becomes fitted to the pants. Finally, the Gibbs '533 patent describes an attaching device made up of safety pins, which may puncture the pants, and result in larger holes which will damage the pants even after a short period of use.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the construction industry, physical well-being is essential to perform its labor intensive tasks. Kneepads have long been used in the construction industry as they promote the well-being of working bodies by protecting a heavily impacted joint. However, the wide variety of kneepad products available today lacks at least one of the key factors that provide lasting comfort and protection without continual readjustment. Kneepads used for leisure or construction purposes should allow comfortable circulation of blood in and around the knee, be easily detachable when not in use, be adjustable to match personal fittings, minimize the area of the wear and tear, and persist even when coming into contact with debris. The newly proposed invention is designed to address all of these deficiencies in order to improve the work performances of people particularly in the construction industry.

The newly proposed invention has a basic elastic band that extends out horizontally from the base of the kneepad to attach at the back of the knee. This holds the basic position of the kneepad and is fully adjustable to prevent constriction of blood. A second elastic band will extend out vertically from the top of the kneepad to attach directly to the pants using any kind of attachment (snap button, clip, Velcro™); this enables the pad to hang from the pants independently from the basic horizontal elastic band, so that the pants bear most of the pad's weight. Accordingly, the hanging action of the pad will minimize the need to tighten the straps around the legs, which will allow complete circulation of blood. The horizontal elastic band located at the base of the pad will keep the padding in place around the knee, and prevent the kneepad from flipping vertically over and restrain lateral movement. The kneepad's head attachment to the pants will also withstand heavily dusted areas, unlike the aforementioned loop and hook fastening system because the pad and pants do not need to fasten or bond to each other in order to function. This head attachment also increases the kneepad's utility by extending its use on short-legged pants. Previous kneepads that attached directly to pants required long-legged pants, however, this newly proposed invention will give workers the option to dress according to their preference and climate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS

FIG. 1 is a front view of the kneepad, according to one version of the kneepad;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the vertical attaching strap that is on the top of the kneepad;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the tack button that will be attached to the workpants;

FIG. 4 is an elevated view of the attaching device seen in FIG. 2 attached to the button seen in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front view of a pair of long-legged pants showing one of the kneepads affixed to one leg, and the attaching button without the pad on the other leg;

FIG. 6 is a front view of a pair of short-legged pants showing one of the kneepads affixed to one leg, and only the attaching button on the other leg;

FIG. 7 is a front view of a different version of the kneepad;

FIG. 8 is an another view of the attaching device that is located on top of the kneepad in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a closer view of the button that will be affixed to the workpants from which the attaching device in FIG. 7 will be attached;

FIG. 10 is a front view of a pair of long-legged pants showing the different version of the kneepad affixed to one leg, and only the attaching button on the other leg;

FIG. 11 is a front view of a pair of short-legged pants showing the different version of the kneepad affixed to one leg, and only the attaching button on the other leg;

FIG. 12 is a front view of another modified version of the kneepad in FIG. 1;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The newly proposed invention will protect people's knees, enabling them to endure long periods of time on their knees without constantly readjusting the pad or constricting blood circulation. This invention will particularly benefit and comfort those whose professions require kneeling and crawling throughout the day such as construction workers. The kneepads will also satisfy a variety of consumer preferences because of its attachment head, which can custom-fit itself to any person's pants size or design since the attachment head is compatible with both long and short-legged pants.

The newly proposed kneepad will include two means of attachment to the users pants. The primary attaching device will be a basic elastic band extending from the front top of the knee pad (3) in an upward direction to be fastened directly to the pants by applying a basic attachment device (snap button, clip, buckle, Velcro™, etc.).

One version of the newly proposed kneepad will secure itself using “tack buttons” (8) and a triangular loop. These “tack buttons” are sew free buttons and the product would include several button ends to be attached directly to workmen's pants by the worker. This can easily be achieved by placing the head of the button (8) on the exterior of the pants and the attaching tack (9) on the interior of the pants in an area above the knee around the thigh of the pants, and locking them together with the use of a common hammer. The triangular loop (1), which is located at the end of the vertical adjustable elastic band (3) at the top of the kneepad, will then pull over the said “tack button” (FIG. 4). The adjustable elastic band can be easily adjusted by elongating or shortening the remaining part (2) of the strap (3), which extends from the top of the kneepad.

Another version of the newly proposed kneepad uses an attachment system that reverses the above-mentioned version, which allows for the adjustable strap (FIG. 8) to be joined to the top of the kneepad at a sewn flap (11) by a metal ring (12). The adjustable strap has multiple buttonholes (15) running down the length of the strap which the button 16 that is attached directly to the pants will be fitted. The attaching button can then be sewn unto the desired pants in an area above the knee that is preferred.

The second attaching device will be an elastic band (6) that will attach around the back of the knee in a horizontal fashion. This will attach using a snap button (7) or any basic attachment device (clip, buckle, Velcro™) that will allow for adjustment to avoid blood constriction. This second elastic band will hold the basic position of the kneepad. The elastic bands (6) are located at the base of the knee pad on opposite sides that will be attached by, but not limited to, a plastic buckle system (7). This second attaching device does not require much tension as it only needs to be attached to restrain the pad from shifting laterally or vertically. This second attaching device will be adjustable by elongating or shortening the elastic strap (19), which connects one of the said plastic buckles, to provide a tension that can satisfy a user's personal preference.

Accordingly, a construction or other worker can easily attach and detach the kneepad to the workpants (20). Attachment can be made by aligning the triangular loop (1) which is located at the end of the vertical attaching strap (FIG. 2) of the kneepad and passing the attaching button (FIG. 3), which has been snapped onto the pants, through the loop (10) and pulling the two parts with opposite force snapping them together (FIG. 4). Detaching the kneepad from the work pants requires only pushing the two parts together with opposite force. Additional novelty of the system lies with the fact that the pants do not require a permanent iron-on patch which noticeably alters and diminishes the appearance of the pants; the only alteration would be a “tack button” (18) that is easily hammered into place above the knee around the thigh area. Also the pants can be regularly washed with little or no harm to the button.

This new attachment system can withstand a heavier kneepad because it can hang from the pants directly, independent of the straps which would require more tension for more weight. This will allow the foam padding (4) to be thicker and heavier thus maximizing comfort, as previous kneepads have to compromise padding to avoid a heavier pad which will slip more easily. This heavy duty foam padding will add durable comfort as continual weight on the knees can cause padding to wear thin. The foam padding (4) will be convex from the outside and concave on the inside from which the knee will be inserted. The interior of the pad (5) has a fabric that will be soft and breathable material, such as neoprene or the like. The exterior of the pad (4) will be composed of a durable material such as heavy duty polyester or the like. This soft yet durable exterior will be well suited for interior use on soft surfaces such as hardwood floors. The exterior of the pad can alternatively contain a hard plastic shell (17) suitable for but not limited to outdoor use.

Finally, there is a significant benefit in that the new kneepads can be applied also to short work pants (21). Previous kneepads that involved iron-on patches or sewn pockets required a relatively large surface area around the patella in which the patch or pocket would be affixed. With this new kneepad system, only a minimal area is required to place the “tack button” (18) from which the kneepad would then be attached. Short work pants can be worn for outdoor use in warmer weather conditions, increasing the freedom of personal preference and comfort. Attaching the “tack button” to the short pants is done in the same fashion as long pants.

This new attachment system fulfills the deficiencies of previous kneepads as it provides adjustable detachable kneepads with no constriction of blood circulation, a more reliable attachment than its hook and loop fastening predecessor for working conditions where dust and debris are typically present, and an attachment system that does not damage pants.